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Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

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very good

365 Ratings

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Ratings: 365
Reviews: 184
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 38
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 184 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benfons
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy blonde, thick foamy head

S: Malts, grains, with a bit of sourness too.

T: Hops overpowering the "herbiness" of the beer. Probably also the first beer that starts bitter and becomes sweeter in the aftertaste.

M/D: Carbonation i allright, but it does have a soapy feel to it. ABV-level is fine.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ryan raved so much about this beer that I couldn't pass up when I saw bottles at the Perfect Pour yesterday. Best by 11 Feb 2012, that's quite a ways out, especially for a 4.5% pale ale.

In my Duvel tulip, this beer is a touch hazy, light orange in color with a thick, choppy white head with great retention and lacing. The nose is just outstanding. Delicately bready and delicately hoppy, this is an exceptionally balanced beer. A touch of floral honey to go with the hop character that's equal parts earth and lemon. Delicately spicy as well, with some pepper, this is also mildly yeasty.
The palate is dry and an interesting blend of what I assume is Belgian pale malt and some fresh baked white bread. Not "extra hoppy" by any stretch of the imagination, there's a blend of earthy bitterness and lemony tartness, with a solid dose of floral honey thrown in for good measure. Some yeast too? Again, this is an exceptionally balanced, delicate, and nuanced beer. Drying on the finish with the *perfect* blend of delicate earthy hop bitterness and drying, cracker-like malt. With medium-high carbonation, this beer is darn near perfect. I can (and am) inhaling this beer.

When I get back to homebrewing, I will attempt something like this. Fantastic stuff.

Photo of Walken
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brasserie De La Senne: Taras Boulba (Best by: 11/02/12) (Sampled: 04/21/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Full pour yields a hazy yellow/orange beer with a nice two-inch head of tight bone-white bubbles. They cling to the sides of the glass leaving tide marks, and in some cases sheets of lace.
Odor: Orange peel and hop spice come to mind, followed by hints of malt sweetness. Not much.
Consistency: Light bodied beer with a strong, effervescent carbonation and a definite tart edge.
Flavor: Dry bready malt flavors, almost reminiscent of a traditional English pale ale, with a hint of fruit, red and under-ripe. Hops throw two elements into the mix, one being a definite orange/peel character which explains tartness when combined with the fruity yeast. There is also a firm, waxy, bitter flavor that carries throughout and flourishes in the dry, tart finish.

This is a great beer, there's a certain cohesion between the seemingly incongruous elements that makes it a really drinkable pale ale.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with an ample head that dissipates slowly, leaving small amounts of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of sweet malt, green hops, honey.

Tastes of light malt, yet a little funky with some horseblanket, and a nice bitter green hop flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light with crisp carbonation. Finishes dry.

A refreshing light beer, and highly drinkable at under 5% ABV.

Photo of portia99
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle (exp 11/02/12 on cap) poured into a Russian River stemmed Belgian glass.

A - Pours a very hazy pale straw gold color (fairly close to a wit in appearance) with a thin white head that falls quickly to an uneven layer on the surface and a thick collar.

S - Heavy with earthy and spicey hops with some floral character and a bit of skunkiness too. Light biscuity malt aroma in the background, but the hops definitely dominate the aroma.

T - Bready malt backbone gives a nice solid base to this beer. Some lemony citrus sits in a layer of flavor just above the malt. On top of it all, a very firm hop bitterness dominates the flavor. The bitterness really actually overpowers the malt - definitely not a balanced beer - hop bitterness is the focus without much accompanying flavors with it. Good, but rather one dimensional.

M - Light in body but definitely not watery. Carbonation is on the high side and quite fizzy and lively. Bitterness coats the mouth and just sits there forever after the swallow.

D - A bit of a one dimensional beer with bitter, bitter hops and not much else. Malt is secondary, hop flavor is non-existent. I guess I'm probably used to/spoiled by excellent American interpretations with way more hop character. I guess I'm a bit disappointed in this one...it's good, but I have no need to have another now, and I don't see myself seeking this out either - too many other good beers out there to revisit this one.

Photo of jgasparine
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at Chez Moder Lambic (St. Giles), Brussles, Belgium on 3/17/2010.

A- Poured from the tap with a big 1.5" foamy white head, which was well-retained and presenting some nice lacing throughout the drink. The body was a slightly hazy yellow with some lazy bubble trains working their way up the sides of the glass.

S- The nose is packed with big zesty hop aromas and perceived peppery spices. Lesser aromas of pale malt, straw, dough and must are present in lesser quantities.

T- A wonderful replicate of the nose- big hoppiness and perceived peppery notes up front, over a base of musty straw, pale malt and dough. Some flavors of lemongrass emerge in the finish and linger on the tongue.

M- Thin to medium body- highly attenuated- with a coarse carbonation which delivers a slightly bloating feeling. Could stand to have some softer carbonation.

D- Smells and tastes nice, but the bloaty feeling keeps me from wanting a second glass this particular day.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz into tulip. Label reads 'Extra Hoppy Ale'.

A- Nice hazy light yellow with peach highlights. A great fluffy white head that has very nice lacing- thick and creamy. Head fizzes out after 5 minutes or so but nice creamy bubbles remain.

S- Yeasty, floral, fruity, maybe a kiss of hops but nothing too big or bold. Still, a nice aroma.

T- Hops are a bit more evident here.. nice yeast notes, a bit bready, and a good hop bitterness. Lacks the fruitiness of the nose but I'm not complaining- really solid flavor profile here. This is a supremely well-crafted Belgian Pale.. the hops are spot-on.

M- A bit chalky, good carbonation (fairly high) and good flavors keep this one moving.

D- Moderate. I really enjoyed it, I'd like to see it in a larger bottle format. Buying a few of these small bottles to drink over a night would hurt the wallet- but I like this beer. While not 'extra hoppy' it is more than sufficiently hoppy, a Belgian pale with a bit of a kick to it. Nice.

Photo of sholland119
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-A gusher! A cloudy summer squash yellow, a foamy white head, no lacing.

S-Belgian yeast, peppery hops and some spiciness.

T-Peppery spice and some bitterness in the finish. The heavy champagne-like carbonation is a real distraction and detracts from the flavor of the beer.

M-Too aggressively carbonated for my taste.

D-I am not a big fan of this beer.


Photo of Seanibus
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am afraid I have to swim against the tide on this one - I am not a big fan.

Pours a sunny slightly hazy golden with a big fluffy white head. The aroma is sharp and grainy, with some lemon and coriander. The flavor is thin and lemony, with a strong bite of coriander and allspice. There is a grainy, almost wheaty body, with a distinct aspriny bitterness. The finish is a bit weak and watery, however. The mouthfeel is quite watery.

Photo of Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland ME. Served chilled in a goblet

A - A beautiful golden color w/ excellent clarity - rocky pale white cap w/ average sized beading and thick lace collects

S - The smell has green spiciness from the hops w/ tropical notes from the yeast and mild pine notes from the hops as well. The fruit esters seem to be most similar to pineapple w/ mild bitter citrus peel and a mild vegetal note in the background

M - The feel is very good -dry and bitter w/ mild sweet herbal textures -moderately carbonated w/ mellow sweet malt and herbal tinges carry over into the finish w/ a dash of spice as it ends dry

T - The flavor is full w/ sweet tinge of light malt and mellow bitter citrus and pine hop tastes w/a hint of tropical fruit and the malt crispness balanced w/ a light vegetal and spiced
note of hops which also have minor floral aspects. The flavor has a dry quality which is hard to describe but is not so dry that you don't notice the sweet sugared tip. The complexity is good, but not over the top either -just a solid Belgian Pale taste IMO

D - A drinkable pale, the drinkability is very nice for this style - hopped slightly like a belgian strong yet abv is at level of a pale so it is win/win. I found the bitterness to be substantial and if it weren't at the lowered strength it is could be compared to a Belgian Ipa w/ the bitterness - recommended.

Photo of ThaCreep
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is light enough where unfortunately we do detect a bit of hops, spices and resins. The mouth is the opposite. In addition to being quite special entry in the mouth, rather resinous, leading to flavors of anise and licorice, accented and highlighted by a hops and yeast quality. Tasting offers a body quite dry with a strong bitterness that breathes the fresh hops. With only 4.5 °, it offers much flavor in the mouth and can be drunk in large quantities. A classic BITTER (and not an IPA or Pale Ale like I saw it), yet resolutely Belgian.

Photo of richmof
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian pale or Belgian IPA? I would have thought this was more of the latter, with Zinnebir from the same brewer falling into the former category. Either way, De Zenne Brouwerij doesn't seem to do bad beers.

Pungent grassy herbs on the nose and in the mouth, with an almost earthiness. A very keenly hopped ale.

I could drink this beer any time any place.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a hazy dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light cereal malts and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of clean cereal malts, a grassy hop an mild yeast esters.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a lingering dry spicy finish.

Overall a very drinkable and user friendly farmhouse ale.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Caracole tulip

A - Pours a beautiful clear orangish yellow color with a properly large eggshell white head that rises to about 2 inches and becomes very rocky. Lacing is excellent.

S - Slightly sweet & grassy, floral with plenty of lemon & orange citrus character. Plenty of citrus & grass hop character with lots of yeast characteristics. Some bubblegum comes to mind as it warms.

T - Starts with a mild sweetness that quickly is overwhelmed by the citrus, bubblegum & grassy flavors. Good amount of bitterness in a nice finish. Good combination of belgian yeast flavor & hop flavors.

M - Mild carbonation with a medium body and a refreshing, lightly bitter finish. Just a touch chalky at the finish, taking away from an otherwise outstanding experience.

D - Another nice take on the Belgian IPA. Very drinkable & worth seeking out if you can find it.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a tulip at The Dirty Truth

A - more yellow and pale than i expected, almost golden and very hazy, a full finger of white head with scant carbonation

S - the first element i get is yeastiness, some poignant lemon zest citrusness, some subtle spiciness and a clean grassy note as well

T - wow, surprisingly hoppy for the stlye, a nice floral hop profile, definitely dominated by classic belgian funk and those elements of the nose that transferred to the taste, the grassiness, spices, and lemon zest

M&D - medium bodied and easily drinkable, nicely combined flavors and not so funky to turn people off, a nice classic belgian

Photo of deathdealer666
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local purveyor warned me this bottle had some age to it. I was wondering how the hops were gonna hold up. The answer is wonderfully.

It poured a very hazy gold with a huge cloudy head leaving a good amount of lace down the sides of the glass.

If this beer shows any age it's in the nose. A little hop up front, maybe saaz, something noble. But it quickly gives way to a dank mustiness.

Luckly that does not carry over to bottle. The distinct fruity belgian yeast is fighting hard to keep up with the amount of ultra grassy bittering hops put into it. Crisp apple and light oat round out the palate.

The beer actually didn't last this long. It was quite smooth and creamy. I guess that's all that needs to be said about it's drinkability as well. It's a good thing it's only 4.5%

Photo of gory4d
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a generous white head, lots of lacing. The smell is flowers, clean minerals, grain. The taste is up front minerals, sweetness and biscuit in the middle, and a long bitter finish. It's highly carbonated, a little viscous. Nice and easy to drink as it warms. Wish this were available around here, and were a lot cheaper. All in all it's a lot like a mellower version of a Belgian IPA. Fine stuff.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I kinda like BPales and the mix of the yeast and hops that usually gives the beer a crisp sensation at the end. This one is no different, although the flavors are abit subtle. Pours a dark, hazy golden with a rounded fluffy head. Some sediment in the head..weird?
Zest is prominent in the nose. Not quite orange as it's missing some zip. Maybe asian pear or something. The familiar Belgian yeasts give it a good, semi-sweet bready nose. Juicy.
Taste pretty much follows, although I would say this has a lightness to it that American Pales don't usually have. The malt is richer and not as wide, if that makes sense. Low abv makes this a good session beer for me.

Photo of PhillyMonk
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wasn't sure what to expect, but liked the idea of a "hoppy" Belgian ale. This poured a nice rich golden color in the tulip glass it was served with with a good amount of head that clung for a few minutes. Well-balanced smell with hops dominating. The taste was also hoppy up front, but none of the bitter aftertaste of IPAS. This beer finished with a sweet, smooth flavor that was refreshing and different. I had no idea until I got home that this beer was less than 5% alcohol. If it didn't cost me $7.50 a glass, I could drink this one all night. A delicious ale!

Photo of RedChrome
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy bright gold colored beer. A massive rapidly forming airy white head faded over a few minutes. Large carbonation bubbles were scant and rose fast. Minimal lace spots.

Earthy scents with strong grass and yeast presence. Hops have a subdued quality and only hint at a bitter aroma. A buttery finish on the back of the nose.

A bitter subdued hops flavor up front. Straw and grass flavors. AS it warms a light fruity essence comes out stronger without having any specific flavor to note.

A nice thickness on the tongue. Few minimal carbonation tingle. Flavors cling very nicely well after swallowing.

A good brew. This one would work nicely with chicken Francaise. A great session brew. Well worth trying if you see it out and about.

Photo of popery
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite sub-5% abv Belgian that I've tried so far. It tastes like a light Belgian IPA, which makes sense given the self-applied label, "Extra Hoppy Ale." I chilled it down a bit in the refrigerator and side-stepped the overflow other BA's have reported. Consequently, the head was probably a bit less than it could have been. The beer is a glowing, hazy yellow-gold liquid with a puffy white head. The aroma is a bit weak. Dry yeast is the main aroma, but there is a noticeable tangerine hop undercurrent. The beer really shines on the palate. It's a pretty exceptional beer given the truly sessionable 4.5% abv. Both malt and hops shine and work well with the yeast. The malt is light but fresh and flavorful. The hops give the beer a great bite in the aftertaste and provide pleasing bitterness and flavor throughout. The yeast flavors are a refined and restrained Belgian complex of earth and must. This is one of those great foreign session beers that's sadly too expensive to drink in quantity here. I'm deeply envious of Belgians (and anyone else lucky enough) who can find it easily and cheaply.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in tulip glass.

pale blonde with slight haze. amazing foamy, creamy head. great lace.

bold noble hop nose, herbal, grassy and upfront. faint fruity belgian yeast notes. toasted crackers. whiff of sulfur.

taste: very surprisingly malty and bready, while also hoppy with very crisp herbal tones. snappy bitterness.

light to medium body, with resins in the finish. crisp carbonation has moments of creaminess.

really, this isn't much different from the bottled version. maybe fresher, and of course no gushing. again, this has exceptional depth of flavor for just 4.5% ABV.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to thank Eric from Novare Red Bier Café for suggesting this last winter when we visited his location in Portland, ME. We shared on that night and I've been looking for one to enjoy/review. Finally was able to pick up a couple of bottles.

Upon opening the bottle some carbonation boils in the bottle and slowly starts building foam that would eventually make it's way out the top of the bottle. When poured a wispy white head forms and then begins to fade immediately. The beer is slightly hazy light gold color despite decanting and leaving the yeast in the bottle. No lacing occurs.

Aroma is yeast and spice and some pale grains/malt.

Flavor is quite yeasty as well, a bit dry with some black pepper and other spices.Some grassy notes and then a bready sense in the middle of the profile. Finally a surprising amount of hop bitterness. Almost crisp and definitely dry. You get some additional sweetness as it warms above the serving temperature as well as some additional fruitiness shining through.

Mouth feel is just shy of astringent and body is very delicate. Bitterness makes it seem a bit more bold than it really is.

Quite drinkable and a lot of flavor for a lower ABV beer. This could be a session Belgian.

Photo of Overlord
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the extra!

Pours a hazy gold with a billowing white head that threatened to overwhelm fist the bottle, then the glass. Looks a bit filmy, and the head brings to mind soap foam.

Smells ... well, the bottle says "hoppy," but this smells like Belgian yeast in a familiar "gold ale" format.

Taste, again, has some citrus and lemony hops, but is by no means "hoppy." If anything, it tastes like soapy lemon zest. Not particularly appealing, and this is one of the few times I think a beer is overly carbonated. The flavor could have used a dampening down.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a hazy, golden color with tall, white foam that persisted and clung to the glass, leaving some lace. The smell was a wonderful aromatic hop aroma (noble?) coupled with effervescent carbonation which tickled the nostrils. The taste was very dry and full of aromatic hop flavors, though not overly bitter. Behind the hops was a mild malt body with only a touch of sweetness. Perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp with medium body and good, fine carbonation. The hops were present from start to finish. This is a wonderful session beer. Thanks to Daniel from Moan & Dove for recommending this one.

Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
88 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.